Vingt-trois ans apres Avril 1994!: Twenty three years of Shame!

By Theogene Karenzi

A decade ago or thereabouts, I read two significant reads: History Will Absolve Me – Fidel Castro and Mandela’s Rivonia Trial Speech. As good as I found them, they all made me give long shot on what life really means. They are speeches fresh from the docks. The two men were facing trials threatening their lives.

I must admit from the very start that the careful you read those speech, the more you get feelings of how much despair liberation imbues. You see faces of people on their last stand, possibly going to kiss their lives goodbye. Yet you see the true fire and reason their attempts were worthy. You see that there were earnest reasons the two men had decided enough is enough.

The motives there in are what makes their efforts valid and justifiable. Reasons override motives as you dig through the speeches. Today Fidel Castro is a dead hero and likewise Mandela is a dead taller mountain that will stand forever. Here in lies the parable that is “liberation”.

April 1994, we had a small man out of the bush declaring “liberation”. As if Rwanda never had been a nation before him, the arrogant fellow stormed into Kigali in fervour and jollity singing the end of ethnicity, new beginning and a new era. He came, we were there. We saw and waited. Twenty three years on, we are witnesses of his motives.

Admittedly, Rwanda has sincerely degenerated in the last twenty three years. They sing liberation but they cannot say who they liberated and how. There is a great deal of disillusionment than we used to know and being in the twenty first century, the youth is more uncertain than ever before. Liberation has cultivated …….

1) Constantly dependent economy that has largely remained at around 40% need for external budgetary subsidy – donor money and handouts. All to the holes of public destitution

2) The rise of plutocracy in a country whose overall population is peasant farmers. This entrenchment of a viscous merciless class that affords everything to the detriment of majority is lesser than two thousand heads. Shame on them

3) Growth of arrogance in a country that needs healing by all means possible. Unlike Fidel and Madiba who chose to humble themselves before the people, the bush veterans of ours are a class above that. There is only one man and it is a one man show. Whoever needs the difference gets bullets.

4) Where an unschooled president is an engineer, economist, political scientist and ….. you name it. This is a great shame! Our president walks to Harvard school of business to give lecture on economic development, business environment and ….. you name that. Sincerely if this isn’t a pretext they use when they need a comedian to entertain the youth there, what else is it? Rarely have they ever invited bright presidents! What have we wronged them?

5) The highest rate in the history of Rwanda. Rwanda is one of the poorest countries ever. It is small and without meaningful potential. But its president is the most famous traveller alive today. A Gama Vasco da of our time. He says it is “guhaha”. And when he is “guhaharing” he sleeps a suite worth 50K USD per night. A man who knows no separation between his own business and state businesses. This is a liberator!?

6) A one man show. Who rules Rwanda? Only one small man does. A man who doesn’t entertain questions but expects full obedience. There are no friends, no brothers in struggle and no one to trust. People have come and gone as he remains the only one among those who came out of the bushes. Many are dead, others are reduced into beggars, some are fugitives as the rest are growing older inside prisons.

7) A lying culture. It all started with imitation. Imitating their handlers, the CIA and Fibbies. A bush ragtag won a war through propaganda, terrorism and fear. Lies soon became a tradition. Now they cook statistics, bog down realities and wow a president can swear himself dead on a blatant lie. Now tell me a shame than that. We were taught that lying is a tradition used by kids to solve their immediate challenges. What then when a president chooses to build a state on lies? For they say “a man without his words is no better than a beast”.

8) Increasing brain drain. Liberation is a loaded word! Sometimes it could mean giving away e.g. liberating the air from ….. In similar veins, It is obvious that liberation of 1994 was about giving people away. Look, asylum seekers are increasing unabated. Whoever is qualified enough to get a job outside is running away. Give a man/woman a scholarship to get abroad and he/she will never come back. Even an athlete chooses to run away at any chance presented. What kind of liberation is that?

9) Nineth wonder of the world! Why is it that any family with means in Rwanda today is set to leave? Almost all top politicians have houses and properties abroad and they do vacations there. Well to do families take their children to schools abroad. No one actually trusts institutions there. Isn’t this the Nineth wonder of the world? That in the twenty first century there is a country where people prepare their future lives to end up away from native lands? The sentiment of nationalism doesn’t visit Rwanda.

10) A killing culture. They came gunning everything alive and we thought it would end up there but twenty three years on, streets are still getting littered with human blood. Bodies surface now and then here or there. People are said to fall over loads of explosives inside police cells. If you are arrested by Rwanda’s police forces you are actually a bit closer to the afterlife that swimming amidist the ocean. What isn’t Rwanda? Hell isn’t one of them.

11) Obviously history shall demonize the so called 1994 liberation. What is the future of a liberator who does all things without forethought? He becomes a devil. A shame in history and disgrace to his people. He fears the outcomes of his people’s anger and thus clings on bullets and guns. This man becomes a shame to his people. All he did become meaningless dreams that won’t Absolve him.

12) Twenty three years later a man is richer than his country and party! He lends his jets to the party and states. He is the party and he is the people. In absence of him none can rule because others are naive and trouble makers. He has thus the honour to be a lifelong president! Is this a quality of a liberator? Surely these have been twenty three years of shame!

Where is Eugene Gasana? ‘Greetings sir’